Great America Roadtrip Day 1: La Conner to Lake Easton State Park

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Lake Easton just before sunset.

The roar of traffic fills the air as I prop up my feet by the firepit. I can actually see cars whizzing along Interstate 90 from my seat in our campsite. The noise is a jarring counterpoint to the otherwise tranquil setting next to an expansive lake.

Daniel and I are camped at Lake Easton State Park for the first night of our journey. Located near the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, the campground is sandwiched between the Interstate and scenic Lake Easton. It’s a popular spot with families who enjoy boating, swimming, and biking along the nearby trails.

Despite the noise, we are happy with our location. We selected this particular campground because of its proximity to I-90 and the fact that it has an online reservation system. We didn’t want to deal with hunting for a spot on our first night out. The campground is nice and our site has full hookups – which we finally got to use for the very first time. Exciting!

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Chilling by the firepit. Photo by Daniel.
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Daniel relaxes in his extra loungy chair. Believe me, that thing is super comfy.

The Road Trip Begins

We began our day in La Conner, Washington, where we had been staying at an AirBnb for the past month. Daniel and I spent the morning packing last-minute supplies into the Rialta and then bid goodbye to our temporary home around 1:00 pm. We didn’t have far to go on our first day so we weren’t in any particular hurry.

The first item on the agenda was visiting a Pilot Truck Stop. We needed to check the final weight of the motorhome at the CAT Scales. As mentioned in my blog post Turning the Rialta into a Home, Rialtas are infamous for having a low carrying capacity. For today’s weigh-in, we came in at 55 lbs below the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – and this includes carrying a full load of food, supplies, gas and us (but no water).

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Weighing the Rialta at the CAT Scales

Whew! This is actually really good news. I’m glad we took out the heavy 3rd chair and the arm rests. This means we can carry up to 6 gallons of fresh water/dirty water without going overweight … until we eat up some of our supplies, that is.

While in the truck stop, I noticed with interest that over 90% of the people inside were wearing masks. This is a marked improvement from our visit a week ago before Washington State’s mandatory mask rule went into effect. It was an encouraging sign.

After leaving the truck stop, we headed south on I-5 until we reached Seattle. This marks the official beginning of Interstate 90 on the West Coast. We plan to follow I-90 east across the country – more or less – for the first portion of our road trip. I can’t wait!

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Crossing the I-90 Bridge over Lake Washington at the start of our trip. That’s Mr. Awesome on our dash. He goes on every road trip with us.

A Visit to North Bend

Our main attraction for the day was the town of North Bend. Nestled in the Cascades Foothills, North Bend is a popular destination for hikers of all stripes who explore the nearby trails in droves. I, personally, have spent many a fine day tramping around local trails such as Mount Si, Mailbox Peak, and Mount Teneriffe.

But hiking trails are not what drew us North Bend today. We came, specifically, to visit Twede’s Cafe – aka the “Double R Diner” from the Twin Peaks television series. It is here where Agent Cooper famously enjoyed his damn fine cup of coffee, along with a delectable slice of cherry pie.

Twede’s is not the only point of interest in the North Bend area for Twin Peaks fans. Lots of other nearby spots were also used as shooting locations for the series. Daniel is a huge Twin Peaks fan and has documented many of these locations in his latest blog post: North Bend, WA – Twin Peaks.

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Twede’s Cafe in North Bend with moody Mount Si in the distance.
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Waiting for our dinner to arrive at Twede’s Cafe.

Lake Easton State Park

After setting up camp, Daniel and I walked along the edge of Lake Easton until we came to the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. Formerly known as the Iron Horse State Park Trail or the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, the path crosses the entire state along a former railroad line. Our friends Rod and Taralynn will be walking across the trail this summer so I was excited to check it out. You can follow their along their journey at The Department of Wander.

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A bridge along the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
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Exploring the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
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Moody Lake Easton at dusk.
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Bridges are neat!

Where are we now?

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Daniel and I are at Lake Easton State Park

Date: Tuesday July 6, 2020
Great America Road Trip Status: Day 1

Starting Location: La Conner, WA
Ending Location: Lake Easton State Park
Miles today: 130.5

More details on our roadtrip are available here: The Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip

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